For Amistad Academy Elementary’s Black History Month assembly, fourth-grader Paije performed a powerful spoken word poem that she wrote herself. We had a chance to catch up with her and learn more. Tell me about yourself. What is your favorite part about school? I’m in fourth grade. I like to perform. I like to be adventurous—I ride my bike down the street in my neighborhood and go to the park to climb trees. My favorite class is close reading, and my favorite teachers are Ms. Hall and Ms. Sanders. I like close reading because it’s literature, and I love to read. My favorite genre is mystery. Right now, I’m reading "The Hate U Give." My mom said I can watch the movie after I read the book. We love "The Hate U Give." It's such an important story, and has similar themes to your poem. What inspired you to write “Do You Really”? I’ve been writing poetry since I was 9 (I’m 10 now). My older cousin writes poetry, and I was inspired by him. I decided to start writing poetry at my birthday party when my cousin said he was “retired.” I didn’t want to let the legacy drop, so I picked up where he left off. How were you chosen to perform in front of your school and how did it feel? Our teachers said they were doing a Black History Month celebration. My art teacher asked if anyone wanted to perform, and I volunteered. It felt good because I was nervous, and then I did it and felt relieved and proud. What advice would you give other students who want to write poetry or do something else creative? Express yourself. Don’t let anything hold you back. If you start, you should finish and not give up. What’s next for you? What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a teacher or a rapper. I love to read, so I want to follow after my favorite teacher. If I had to choose, my favorite rapper is Drake. But I like a lot of rappers. Good luck, Paije! We know you’ll be awesome with whatever you do.